Bennett Murada Architects became involved in this project in 2016, following our client purchasing the semi detached workers cottage, originally built in 1910. It was bought with a Development Approval in place for a first floor addition to the existing the ground floor. However, construction had not been completeddue to insufficient head height on the first floor. Our brief was to resolve the head height issue and fit out the 175 square metre workers cottage for contemporary city living. This included: 3 bedrooms, 3 ensuite bathrooms, powder room, a study, walk in robe, laundry, open plan kitchen, living and dining room with walk in butler’s pantry.
The success of this project has been achieved by an integrated approach to both arrangement of programme and resolution of structure simultaneously. The stair is the anchor at the heart of the house, separating living and sleeping quarters on ground floorwhile providing access and structure to the first floor over. The intricate first floor steel structure pulls away from existing external brick walls and window openings. It hangs’ like a necklace while enabling the floor to be lowered and better use of the first floor spaces.
Old and new materials meet in the arrangement of programme with volumetric play of solid and void,angled roof forms connect seamlessly with dormer windows. These dormer windows, and the ability to maintain the existing openings on ground floor provide diffused light throughout the project and throw relief on the forms and materials a like. The intricate steel structure, meticuloususe of space and faultless joinery are contained within the unassuming cottage exterior. The beautiful series of spaces within has earnt this project the nickname ‘The Jewellery Box’.